|Two Little Bargains
Two Must Have Items Under $10
by Vivid Light Staff
We'll be the first to admit that photography can be expensive, even more so because photographers like their toys. Tell a photographer that there's a new whiz bang gadget and they'll be pouring through catalogs and Web sites and drooling over it faster than you can say MasterCard.
That's why it does our hearts good when we find little gadgets that work really well and don't cost a heck of a lot.
The Flatpod FP-2
That's why we were so struck by the diminutive flatpod from Hakuba. It weighs about the same as a roll of film and folds down small enough to fit into a front pocket of your camera bag. Now Hakuba says it's for pocket digital cameras but we found that the little sucker was able to hold a pro SLR with a medium telephoto zoom mounted.
Hakuba was giving these away as booth trinkets at PMA and we tried it out for the first time that night. We were surprised that it held an F100 and 28-105mm zoom easily for a wall mounted night shot. It makes a convenient little tabletop tripod and in a pinch can be used for macro work (though you should really put something under it). Since it's so small it hasn't left our camera bags since PMA. Besides it's kind of cool how it folds down perfectly flat.
We saved the best news for last. Since most of you aren't photojournalists who grabbed up freebies at PMA you'll be happy to know that this little gem only sells $3 !
Op/Tech Filter Pack
The Op/Tech filter pack is a quick fix for all of these problems. It's stretchy and easily accommodated 77mm filters. The flap closure keeps the filter securely in the pouch but lets you fish it out quickly without fighting with Velcro or snaps. It's double sided so it can hold different sized filters. Finally the snap hook let me attach it to the outside of a small camera bag when traveling light. That let me fish out filters by feel without digging in the bag.
If there's one drawback to the little dude it was that we had a heck of a time finding one. Most of the big vendors aren't stocking them yet. The exception was Adorama who has them for $8.95. Anything that costs less than ten bucks and makes my life easier when working out in the field makes my "must have" list! Op/Tech Filter Pack listing at Adorama